If you were to ask any B2B or B2C company what it is they would like to have more of, they would more likely than not tell you sales. Who wouldn’t right? More sales means more money, and who doesn’t want more money? But in order for most companies to get more sales, they first need more leads.
Many companies depend on a steady stream of leads for their sales team to try and close in order to build revenue. Unfortunately, sometimes this setup pits the marketing and sales teams against each other in terms of what leads are ready to pass on to the sales team to close and which ones aren’t. Where the marketing team may think a lead is ready to go over, the sales team may see it differently and not find that lead ready.
As I’ve helped many companies with their marketing strategies, a key component I’ve found is that the marketing and sales teams need to be in constant communication and work together so that the sales team is getting the best possible leads and can close them more easily.
How can this be done? Well here are just a few ways the marketing team can help ensure only the best qualified leads are being sent over.
There are many different ways that companies get their leads. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those are actually considered hot and ready to buy right off the bat. For the others, it’s a matter of exploring and learning more about the company before they are open to talking to sales people.
Set up a scoring system that gives potential customers points based on actions they take with your company. For example, if they are clicking on different pages on your website, consider giving them points for visiting a certain amount of pages. Or if they download a piece of content from you site, give them points for the download. The more they interact, the more interested they are in what you have to offer. Then you can set a threshold of the amount of points a lead gets before they become qualified to move to the sales team. Once they hit that amount, send them on over.
If you’ve ever had kids, you know what it means to nurture them. You teach them and help them learn and grow. The same thing takes place with new leads. They don’t know everything about your company and how it can help them, so you need to help nurture them and help them learn why they need you.
Put together a drip email campaign that you can use for people who download a piece of content from your site. If they downloaded an eBook, take their email and add it to the list of those going through the drip campaign. You’ll want this campaign to consist of at least 7-12 touches (emails) and contain several different offers that will allow them to continue to learn. This can be in the form of other pieces of content such as whitepapers, case studies and infographics, or free offers such as audits or trial periods. Whatever it is, remember that you are giving them information to learn more about their problem and how it can be solved, not necessarily selling yourself directly.
You may be asking yourself what marketing automation has to do with making sure the most qualified leads get sent over to the sales team. Well…it has everything to do with it. By incorporating a marketing automation system into the mix, you make those two things I mentioned above a heck of a lot more easier.
By using a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, you are able to set up lead scoring models that will automatically update a contact’s status and send them to the sales team when appropriate. You are also able to set up email campaigns that will help nurture contacts to the point that they are raising their hand and wanting to talk to you. It just makes your job much easier; you set up the logic and process and it will do the rest.
Qualifying leads doesn’t need to be difficult. It shouldn’t be a process that causes the marketing and sales teams to give each other dirty looks by the water cooler. By automating and implementing the right techniques and processes, you can ensure the leads you send over to the sales team are qualified and interested in what you have to offer.